This game got out of hand in a hurry for the host Menomonee Falls Lakers against the West Bend Braves today at Trenary Field on May 13. In the second inning, run scoring singles by Ryan Westenburger and Jed Prange put the Braves ahead 2-0. Lakers starter Don August appeared to work out of the jam by inducing a bases-loaded pop up to Kyle Krier, but Nick Heiting lost the ball in the sun at second base and couldn't bring it in, making the score 4-0. The very next pitch to Ryan Morrison resulted in a 3 run homer, putting the game away for good at 7-0.
West Bend added two more runs later in the game on an rbi double by Morrison in the 6th and a sacrific fly by Morrison in the 8th. He would finish the day 2-3 with 5 rbi.
Aside from Morrison at the plate, the story was Joe Lehnerz on the mound. Lehnerz threw a complete game shutout, inducing 19 ground ball outs and only two fly balls to the outfield the entire game. Lehnerz walked four and struck out one in his 4-hit gem.
The Sussex Cardinals 2017 season has started out just about how they would have hoped in facing two of the best offenses that the league has to offer in West Bend 7 Up and today's opponent, the Milwaukee Beavers. The Beavers coming off a season that saw them finish the season at .500, have high hopes that the surprises are done and that they figured out what they needed to get back to their winning ways.
The Cardinals jumped out of the game quick scoring 6 runs off Sussex native and Beavers starting pitcher Matt Burke. Cardinals first baseman Ben Wilkins would provide most of the damage with a pair of 2 RBI singles. The Beavers would claw back to tie the game against week 1 Weissman Auto pitcher of the week, Travis Thompson, by scoring 3 runs in the top of the 3rd and 4th. Jarrett Gates, Kyle Knaust, and newcomer Sam Mattheis would single in runs. The stalemate would be quick before Sussex pulled away in the bottom the 4th as Bryan Laabs would single in Sam Harmeyer in what would be the winning run for Sussex.
Sussex pulls to 2-0 in the Lake Country Division with the win. Nick Schreiber continued his torrid start with 3 hits along with Ben Wilkins. Bryan Laabs, Joe Ferro, and Michael Barnes had multiple hit games for Sussex. The Beavers player/manager Doug Martin had 3 hits to pace the Beavers, while Jarrett Gates, Sam Mattheis, and Brandon Mantz had multiple hit games.
Hartland manager John McNeil had an extra pep in his step all offseason with the potential of his 2017 Oilers team and Sunday in West Bend, that potential showed its face at the expense of the West Bend Braves. Hartland which has struggled in recent seasons to score runs, got an injection of offense during the offseason and showed that off scoring 6 times in both the 2nd and 3rd innings. A mix of patience, aggressive base running, and timely hits all were a cause of this explosion. The bottom of the order was 7-9 with 4 walks and a hit batter.
Not to be missed in the offensive explosion was a masterful outing by Hartland starting pitcher Carl Mercier. Mercier went 5 innings giving up just 2 base runners and striking out 8.
Tony Mueller's 3 hits led the Oilers offense. Craig Henschel, Trevor Duran, Chris Mercier, and Zach Wilbur had multiple hit games for the Oilers. Ryan Morrison and Nick Backhaus reached twice for the West Bend Braves.
If there is one take away from the 2017 season thus far, it is that the New Berlin Lakers baseball team is having no issues in assimilating itself into the rough and rugged Western Division. The Lakers first road test of the Western Division was to the Godfather's of the division, the Monches Irish. A playoff team from 2015 and 2016, the Irish were a big test for the Lakers and they were able to pass the ace the test thanks to a fast start against Monches ace Andy Smith.
The Lakers scored 4 runs in the top of the 1st and 5 runs in the top of the 3rd to take a commanding lead. Walt Ziller was the big bat of the day for New Berlin with 3 two RBI singles to help the Lakers take the lead for good. Lucas Yogerst continued his strong 2017 campaign by going 5 innings and striking out 6 Irish hitters.
Along with Ziller's 3 hit day for New Berlin, Adam Vlaj, Jake Sweet, and Chris Luckey had multiple hit games. Buck Konkel and Benny Serres have continued their hot starts with a multiple hit games for Monches.
The game of the day ended up being in Lannon as the defending Land O' Lakes champion Lannon Stonemen opened up 2017 at home against a Blue Sox team looking to regroup after a tough week one loss. The defending champs look to replace longtime stars Dan Wnuk and Dean Haase after they retired during the offseason. What set up on Sunday was a classic pitcher's duel between lefty Troy Kenkel of Lannon and hard throwing Ben Versnik of Brookfield. Versnik won this week's duel.
Brookfield newcomer Marty Coyle gave the Blue Sox all the offense they would need with a 2 run home run in the 4th. Versnik would take care of the rest, going 6 innings, allowing just 3 hits and striking out 12. Drew Schreihart would get the save by going 3 strong innings of one hit baseball. Kenkel in his own right was as dominate as usual for the Stonemen, going 8 innings giving up just 3 runs while striking out 9. Nick Erd pitched the 9th for the Stonemen.
Brookfield was led offensively by Matt McCarten who had 3 hits, Coyle and Drake Schreihart had multiple hit games for Brookfield. Joey Bratten had 2 of the 4 hits for Lannon.
If any manager looks at their team after two weeks and has to make a snap judgment about the future of that team, Jason Booth has to be one of those managers who loves what he has seen out of his Bulldogs. The Bulldogs blasted the Lakers with an offensive barrage that had the Bulldogs up 8-0 after just 2 innings, including 7 in the 2nd. The Lakers showed some heart scratching a run across in the 5th but the Bulldogs were able to ease into the victory.
The league's top catcher, Mike Mierow had 3 hits for the Bulldogs, and future hall of famer Kris Franzen, who returned to the Bulldogs this season had a multiple hit game as did Dan Barwick. Another future Hall of Famer Greg Basthemer spun 6 scoreless innings of 6 hit ball for Brookfield. Ryan Romens had a multiple hit game for Menomonee Falls.
No other team in the league has more questions and more mystery surrounding them then there is around the Pewaukee Muskies. The Muskies, arguably the top team in the state in the past half decade saw a rash of retirements and a wave of new talent come aboard. Captaining the ship now for the Muskies is long time player Jim Kalupa, who take the reigns over from long time manager Mike Wichser. The Muskies push to prove that the departures won't stop their level of winning started Sunday against the Oconomowoc Five O's.
Back for the Muskies is ace and future Hall of Famer Brian Henschel and he got the ball just hours from returning from the West Coast. Henschel set the tone for the Muskies as Henschel continued 2017 like he has for the past decade plus throwing up a goose egg in 5 innings. To go along with the Henschel's start, the Muskies offense showed some signs that it will not miss the retired players scoring 10 runs in the bottom of the 4th inning. The Muskies were led by Connor Moroder, who tripled 3 times in 4 at bats to lead the way.
To go along with Moroder's 3 triples, the Muskies got multiple hits from former MVP Brock Guetzke, Tom Zimmerman, Mike Grabarczyk, and newcomers Clayton Schmidt and Ethan Urban. Oconomowoc got a multiple hit game from Josh Bouche.
Wednesday, May 17
West Allis at New Berlin, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 19
West bend 7 Up at West Bend Braves, 7:30 p.m.
Lannon at Milwaukee, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 21 (all games 1 p.m.)
Sussex at Hartland
Menomonee Falls at Pewaukee
Brookfield Blue Sox at Brookfield Bulldogs
West Bend Braves at Milwaukee
Lannon at New Berlin